When people think about a business’ structure, they often think about a centralized model with linear reporting and clearly defined departments, all under one roof. But for many large, enterprise-scale businesses, this is rarely true. More often, there are multiple business locations, a widely dispersed and increasingly remote corporate workforce, and regionally-based sales representatives who are constantly on the move. For large global brands, there may be thousands of locations around the world.
The need to deliver a consistent, unified customer experience is just as important as it is with a centralized model, but it is far more difficult to execute. Thankfully, distributed marketing platforms give brands a collaboration and content distribution solution that bridges the gaps between dispersed regional teams and centralized functions like corporate marketing, sales leadership, and social engagement. This empowers all of your teams — including agents, advisors, and regional branches — to connect with customers using core branding and messaging assets to deliver a consistent customer experience.
Key features of a distributed marketing platform
So what should you look for in a distributed marketing platform? The answer depends heavily on your industry and what your main goal is (more on that later). But, generally speaking, there are a few major components to consider:
Channel marketing coverage
For a large enterprise, it’s not enough to just be on one platform. You need to be wherever your customers are, whenever they need you. Your distributed platform must have content distribution capabilities that span a growing list of digital channels, including social media, messaging, and chat platforms.
Connection to existing digital tools
Most companies have big tech stacks and tools for different departments, and this can create data silos and a disconnected view of the customer. The best distributed solution is one that is part of a unified customer experience management platform, which gives you the best overall view of your customer across all touchpoints and how to best serve them.
Ease of adoption
When you have thousands of users on a platform, getting them excited to adopt the new technology can be a challenge. When evaluating distributed marketing tools, ask yourself, which ones are easiest to adopt? Which ones provide the best onboarding services? And, which platforms have the most intuitive user experience?
Measurement and monitoring capabilities
If you bring a new tool into your company, you want to make sure it’s successful, right? Any distributed platform should provide you with insights on your brand, including how well you’re doing before and after implementation. Attribution metrics are crucial to understanding the success of certain advisors, channel partners, or locations, and brand monitoring features will help you stay on top of your brand image and messaging as you scale your marketing campaigns and sales efforts across users and locations.
Social selling and multi-location marketing use cases
Once you have a distributed platform in place, there are a number of use cases to consider, but here are two of the most common.
Many brands want to maximize brand reach as well as streamline social media engagement and content strategy across location-specific accounts. Data insights and performance-by-location feedback gives brands an opportunity to optimize their local marketing efforts geographically. With a distributed marketing platform, brands can achieve greater impact and reach from content distribution by templating high-performing content to use across locations. And, you’ll save time and resources.
Brands that want to use social media networks to generate and convert leads are investing heavily in social selling. Using a distributed marketing platform (often referred to as a “social sales platform”) can help users engage potential customers and track conversion rates by content type, platform, and a number of other attributes. For an in-depth analysis of leading options for this use case, check out this report where Forrester evaluated and ranked 8 different platforms in their most recent Sales Social Engagement Solutions report.
Of course, some organizations will want to deploy both of these use cases, either at once or over time. The right distributed marketing platform will be flexible and intuitive enough to do both (and more).
Distributed marketing strategies across industries
Brands across different industries may think about their distributed strategy differently. Here are some top examples:
Financial Services & Insurance: Distributed users could be advisors and agents who need to leverage their networks to generate leads. Another use case would be for local bank branch managers who want to better serve the customers in their community.
Hospitality: Regional hotel properties can benefit from the multi-location marketing features that streamline publishing and engagement best practices from corporate marketing teams.
Retail: Retail businesses with multiple brick and mortar store locations can realize benefits from multi-location marketing use cases and provide personalized, location-specific content and offers.
Pharma: Corporate teams for pharmaceutical brands can support distributed sales reps out in the market with location-specific data to better serve the medical community around them.
Others: Real estate, automotive, and franchise businesses are just a few other industries that would be good candidates for a distributed marketing platform.
How does it fit into a greater digital ecosystem?
Companies that want to compete effectively for the modern consumer’s business must embrace localization and personalization strategies or risk being ignored. Similarly, sales-heavy enterprises will want to make sure their field teams feel empowered to grow the business. When you decide it’s time for a distributed marketing platform, the most important consideration is to think about how it will fit into the greater digital ecosystem your company is building.
With more challenges come more point solutions, which can often lead to “point solution chaos.” Although point solutions may offer the features and capabilities you need to be successful, it won’t help if that point solution doesn’t work well or isn’t connected to your existing tech stack. Finding a platform that both provides the features you need for your use case and industry, while seamlessly integrating with your other tools, will ensure that you have a unified understanding of your customer and how you can best serve them.
Learn more about Sprinklr Distributed.